Saturday, March 14, 2015

Week 57 - Quito Bella Aurora - Feb 2, 2015

Hola mi querida familia,

This week was a week of quality, not quantity. And we experienced success! Let me start out describing a new investigator whom we found yesterday, Roberto, 21 year old Christian. We had actually met Roberto earlier last week, but it was at night and his friend was doing most of the talking, so we didn`t quite remember him yesterday when we met him walking down the road and he smiled at us and said "Hermanas! ¿Como estàn?!" It took us a second to remember him. And just like that, he invited to his house to meet his mom and his cousin. He told us that he was out walking because he went to buy some medicine for a headache, but as soon as he bought the pill his head stopped hurting. He said it was strange,  but that right after his head stopped hurting he ran into us. As we taught Roberto and his cousin Soñia about the priesthood which Christ gave his apostles, Roberto asked a question I had never heard before, he asked if there was a way he could receive the priesthood. We both felt the spirit and explained that it had been restored through a modern-day prophet, and as we recited the first vision, tears welled up in his eyes. Roberto accepted a baptismal date for February 28th. We gave him a Book of Mormon and pray for his progress. He was definitely placed in our path by our Heavenly Father and is prepared.

Also we have been visiting, Rocio`s son, Henry over the past couple weeks. Henry is 26, and he hasn`t been able to go to church because of work, but this week we taught him the Plan of Salvation, explaining the importance of keeping commandments and trusting in Christ. We referred to Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and he committed to not work on Sunday. He also accepted to be baptized the 21st of February. He came to church this sunday with Rocio and the members loved him! Sadly he couldn`t stay for Priesthood (the 3rd hour) so we are going to extend his baptism date for the next Saturday, or possibly a weekday because the branch temple trip is that day. But Henry is so great. He is very humble, and he has faith that the Lord will answer his prayers as he asks to know if the Book of Mormon is true.

This week Hermana Espinoza and I have been able to feel the immense love of our father in heaven as we have taken the time and effort to make sure that members are with us to visit our investigators. Sometimes when we think of the word diligence, we get caught up in contacting as many people as we can, when really diligent missionary work is planning, studying,  taking the time to team up with the branch, serving the people with simple acts of kindness, and reevaluation. In that way, we see fruits and we see progress!
Funny story. We had to renew our visas on tuesday all the missionaries from my group because we`ve reached our year mark in Ecuador. As we were waiting in the 3 hour line to renew our visas, the senior missionary Elder Williamson sat next to a priest from the Catholic Church and started practicing his spanish with him. So funny. The sacerdote (priest in spanish) was actually young and friendly. They got along really well and the priest didn`t have any mean things to say about the Mormon church. A couple of the nuns sitting around him were a little startled. By the time we could finally leave, Elder Williamson (probably he is about 70 years old) said, "Padre, dame un ambrazo" And they hugged. Elder Williamson is so hilarious you just have to know him. It was cool.

This week I would like to put emphasis in a word that I love: smile. The other day, I was troubled because we hadn`t contacted too many people, and my nose had been running the whole day with a throbbing headache. It was a day in which I actually pictured in my head as we were out proselyting my warm bed at home.  When we got home for the night I remember praying that the Lord would help me know how to focus my thoughts and actions in the work even when we feel tired and weak. Just one word came to my head: Smile. Attitude is Everything. When we feel like we just can`t take anymore, Smile. When people reject, smile ad testify. When walking up a dirt hill, smile. We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, there is no better reason to smile in the whole world.

The next day, all the missionary leaders in Quito were privilged to have a mission council with Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the 70. Hermana Dunne and I sang "Yo sè que vive mi Señor" to start out the meeting (with stuffy nose and all) but the spirit was there. When Elder Christensen started the discussion, he told us a story of when he was Mission President in Mexico and there was an area with little success. As he prayed to know what to do, he received revelation to send sister missionaries. The difference was huge. The sisters in their first month had 8 baptisms and in the 2nd month 16 more. When he asked the sisters what they were doing, they told him nothing.. just that they couldn`t hold back their smiles. Elder Christensen said that as missionaries our success is related to attitude, and our smiles reflect our attitude. It was like a confirmation to my prayer the night before. We just have to smile and always see the silver lining. I testify that I know our Redeemer lives and that his mercy is sufficient after all we can do. I love him and I love to be a missionary. Have a great week everyone!

Con Amor,
Hermana Powley